BACKGROUND: Long-term, sustained progress is necessary in drop foot rehabilitation. The necessary inconvenient body training movements, the return trips to the hospital and repetitive boring training using functional electrical stimulation (FES) often results in the patient suspending their training. The patient's drop foot rehabilitation will not progress if training is suspended. OBJECTIVE: A fast spread, highly portable drop foot rehabilitation training device based on the smart phone is presented. This device is combined with a self-made football APP and feedback controlled FES. The drop foot patient can easily engage in long term rehabilitation training that is more convenient and interesting. METHODS: An interactive game is established on the smart phone with the Android system using the originally built-in wireless communications. The ankle angle information is detected by an external portable device as the game input signal. The electrical stimulation command to the external device is supplemented with FES stimulation for inadequate ankle efforts. RESULTS: After six-weeks training using six cases, the results indicated that this training device showed significant performance improvement (p < 0.05) in the patient's ankle dorsiflexion strength, ankle dorsiflexion angle, control timing and Timed Up and Go. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results show that this training device provides significant positive help to drop foot patients. Moreover, this device is based on existing and universally popular mobile processing, which can be rapidly promoted. The responses of clinical cases also show this system is easy to operate, convenient and entertaining. All of these features can improve the patient's willingness to engage in long term rehabilitation.
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